A Look Back – Botha hit by the most devastating storm in its history

2000 – 10 YEARS AGO

• Stettler Community Hall will now be administered by the Town of Stettler after council voted to phase out the board structure, a wish of the board. Town council will set the rental rates which are currently on a break-even basis.

• Local drug store known as Medi Plus has recently become Pharmasave as one of five new stores to join the chain which has 15 stores in Alberta and 274 across eight provinces.

1990 – 20 YEARS AGO

• Alberta Prairie Steam Tours steam train will make an unprecedented five trips over the long weekend. One will go to Rowley, and the rest to Meeting Creek and Edberg via Donalda, including a longer stopover at Edberg on Sunday for the dedication ceremony of Edberg Park.

• John Watson of Erskine has been selected to compete in this year’s Budweiser Ironman Canada triathlon in Penticton, British Columbia. Competitors must complete a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bicycle race and a 26.2-mile run all within 17 hours to be classified as finishers.

1980 – 30 YEARS AGO

• One of Alberta’s major livestock markets, Stettler Auction Mart, has been sold to an Erskine rancher and a Cochrane businessman. Charlie McKay, president of the 28-year-old mart, is confident that the new owners will provide excellent service for many years.

• The fifth annual Red Willow slow-pitch softball tournament will be played this weekend with 16 teams competing for the $1,700 in prize money. Other events include beef pit barbecue, dancing two nights and a beer tent.

1970 – 40 YEARS AGO

• The float of Stettler Board of Trade and Stettler Legion was awarded first-place ribbons, cash and a trophy at the Edmonton Exhibition parade. The float was designed and built by Arthur Apperly, Les Parcels and Harvey Bateman.

• Jack Rairdan, son of Mr. and Mrs. Murray Rairdan, and an outstanding member of the Stettler 4-H Club, has won a trip to attend the United States National Youth Congress in Chicago.

1960 – 50 YEARS AGO

• Stettler Fish and Game Association has released 450 pheasants, and another 400 will be released in the fall. The birds were raised on the farms of Gordon Sorge and Bill Bagshaw.

• “Children need love, especially when they do not deserve it.” – Harold S. Hubert.

1950 – 60 YEARS AGO

• A railroad crew has started to work on the spur on the Alberta Coal Mine near Halkirk, an a new tipple will be put up for outside shipping. It is rumoured than another large coal concern will soon start operations in the Battle River area.

• Perfect weather conditions and a fine program brought 1,000 spectators out the Big Valley annual stampede. The premier rodeo event was won by Alec Lage with young Vic Stuckey of Stettler placing second.

1940 – 70 YEARS AGO

• The big safe in the Sharpe & Page Department Store was blown open and burglars tot away with cheques amounting to $1,300. A similar occurred in Craigmyle the same night with a loss of $1,800, indicting that skilled professionals were involved.

• Botha is quite proud of the junior girls’ basketball team that won the provincial championships in Edmonton. The team included Marjory Snyder, Noreen Underwood, Jean Smith, Mildred Bull, Alberta Barnec, Joan Slifka, Beth Mack and Jacqueline MacKay.

1930 – 80 YEARS AGO

• The weekly half-holiday will be held Friday afternoon next week instead of Wednesday because of the fair. Friday will be known as Citizens’ Day and all stores will be closed during the afternoon.

• Botha experienced the worst storm in all its history July 25 when wind-driven clouds of dirt followed by hail that broke most windows in town. Crops and gardens were totally destroyed for two miles north and south of town.

1920 – 90 YEARS AGO

• Mrs. Fitzsimmons of Gadsby is earning an inevitable reputation for her private hospital in her home. She had four babies there at one time with only a day or two between arrivals.

• Wanted – A bright youth aged 15 to 18 for a position of junior office clerk. Apply to Royal Bank of Canada branch n Big Valley.

1910 – 100 YEARS AGO

• Halkirk, a thriving new town on the Canadian Pacific Railway branch, is fast coming to the front. There are four machine companies, three general stores, a hardware store, Traders Bank, furniture store, meat shop, barber shop, grain elevator, pool hall, feed store, livery barn and a three-storey hotel.

• An implement dealer reports that he as sold 78 mowers and a like number of rakes this season. Still there are people who say there is no hay in the Stettler district.